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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How You can get the Dark Albion Hardcovers Even Cheaper! And, What You can do With a Dark Albion Campaign!

So, it turns out that we've had a very cool and enthusiastic initial reception to the Dark Albion hardcovers, which are already on sale at Lulu: you can get the regular book here, and the "Choosing the Roses" Variant Cover here.

Now, as it happens, our other resident Uruguayan RPG-writing guy JongWK bought his copy already (variant cover, as I expected) and he had a tip to share with all of you:

"Lulu has an ongoing promo code for orders: GETIT15

It shaved off 15% from the price (in addition to the 20%). The book price is then roughly comparable to the upcoming softcover release on Amazon ($25 vs $22, per Dom's comments). You might want to let people know!"

So there you are! You can now get the hardcovers even cheaper, for a while anyways.  If you want it softcover or PDF you'll need to wait until its available on RPGnow, which will be in under two weeks.  But if the only reason you were holding out for the softcover is price, you are at the point where you really need to ask yourself if the difference of a couple of dollars will really be worth the wait, especially when both hardcovers are so gorgeous!

Now, in some of the threads where people have been talking about Dark Albion, like the one on theRPGsite, or other one on the somewhat more hostile territory of RPGnet (where most people have been fairly well-behaved, if a bit clueless, except for a couple of intensely bad actors trying to engage in open character assassination), people have been trying to assess just what kind of gaming you can manage in an Albion campaign: is it just D&D with a historical veneer? Are the dungeons going to be like going to dungeons in greyhawk? If not, what's the difference?

In other words, what can you do in an Albion Campaign?

My own 4-year long Albion campaign has tended to have an even division of three basic forms of adventures:

1) Intrigue-based politicking between the White and Red Rose factions (i.e., PCs acting as agents of one noble trying to inflict harm on the property, reputation, or influence of a noble of the other side; or trying to convert a noble, town, or institution to their cause, or trying to recruit support in different areas, or in Parliament, or in the city Guilds, etc.).

2) Warfare-based adventures around the major military campaigns of the war: the PCs being out in the field, sometimes as soldiers or other times as agents, engaging in scouting, sabotage, rescue missions, raiding or protecting local towns, checking out weird-goings on, etc etc.

3) More conventional 'wilderland exploration' adventures: In Albion, all the fantasy stuff tends to be out on the periphery. So these adventures involved the PCs going to some lonely places in the countryside (The forest of Dean, the Welsh Hills, the Reiver Lands in the north, Sherwood, Scots Land, Transylvania, etc. etc.), and either resolving supernatural dangers for locals (usually based on actual folk tales of the area) or investigating ruins - these are never generic D&D-style dungeons, they always make sense in the Albion context: so you have abandoned manors and castles, or Barrow-Mounds, or Cairns, Mine complexes, Arcadian ruins, temples or catacombs, or ancient Elven sites.

There are a few other styles you could run for the game that were not prominent in my own campaign: for example, in my game the PCs went all over the place, but you could run a "local area" campaign, like in the North (maybe the PCs are all stationed at one of the forts on The Wall?), or Middlesex (London and environs), or the area in the middle around Leicester/Derby (where troop movements and countless battles occurred in the war). Or you can have a city-based campaign, most likely London; or have the PCs be Crowners (investigating deaths on behalf of the King) or Inquisitors for the Clerical Order.  Or a band of minstrels, or hangers-on at the court, or privateers fighting Iberian pirates or the Hanseatic League at sea.

So there's a great deal of potential supported by the setting, in terms of what your PCs can do.

And now, with the low low prices, there's no good reason not to check it out!


Currently Smoking:  Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Beverwyck

Monday, 6 July 2015

RPGPundit Reviews: Outremer: A Dream of What Could Have Been

This is a review of the RPG "Outremer", written by Clash Bowley and Albert Bailey, published by Flying Mice.  It is a review of the print edition, which is about 286 pages long; the cover is full colour and depicts a slightly racy woman who is nevertheless fully dressed, while the back cover depicts an extremely racy woman who is at best half-dressed (in a kind of belly-dancing costume).

The back cover gives no information at all about the game.  The interior of the book is black and white, with a moderate number of illustrations in the pseudo-photo style that's typical of Bowley's games, and a more than moderate amount of very cool-looking maps.

As the title hints, the introduction of the game explains that Outremer is an alternate-history RPG, one that hinges on a couple of slightly implausible but far-from-impossible deviations that lead to the Christian (Crusader) Kingdoms in the middle east surviving into the 16th century, rather than being fully reconquered by the Muslims as they were in real history.
Only after the timeline is detailed do we learn that in fact, Outremer has a fantasy element: in the game, magic is real.

Next, much like in the recently-reviewed "Lowell Was Right" game, there's a set of rules for creating an "association". These are, as in that previous game, created by a combination/options of selection by point-buy or random rolls.  Some examples of organizations suggested are "arcane mercenary company", "extended family", "courtier's henchmen", "Government Agency", "secret society", "religious cult", "witch hunters", "scholarly society", etc.
They can be based in a palace, clubhouse, castle, farm, derelict church/mosque, warship, sewer, mountain lair, school, etc.   They can also have resources like guards, spies, warships, mounts, medical aid (doctors, barbers, apothecaries or herbalists), an armory, arcane library, trainees, cartography, artificers (makers of devices), etc.

Since Outremer uses the same mechanics of most of Bowley's games, I don't feel the need to go through every detail of it (given just how many of his games I've already reviewed).  Character creation can be generated through random rolls or via point-buy. Characters get "mother's milk" skills, then go through an apprenticeship, journeyman training and full professional terms to get the rest.  There are checks for promotion and periods of training go through 'terms', so as always the influence of Traveller is very much present in this game.

Next we have some races and character options:  Half-angels, half-Djinn, Esotericists, Magi, Minstrels, Crusaders (or Ghazi, their Muslim equivalent), the Kabbalist, Sorcerers, Mechanists (who work with "djinn animals"), Oracles, Dervishes (Sufi mystics); and some quasi-paths, which have less powers but more options for other things (these include Snake Charmers, Fortune Tellers, healers, mystics, or Faqih (Islamic Lawyers). There's also some details on ordinary humans and their relationships/reactions to magic, and on rules for 'latent psychics' (characters that have some minor psychic level that they do not have great skill or control over).

The skill list is large, as Bowley's games usually are. And as in Lowell, you can also choose traits to give you a bonus die on a skill check, if the trait is relevant to the situation. Traits can be things like "standoffish", "methodical", "sleazy", "loyal", "judgmental", "studious", "boring", "honorable", "bombastic", etc.

The next big section is religion, and here we get descriptions of Christianity (including the sacraments, and other 'powers' of a Christian holy person) that also include Protestantism, since this alternate timeline is set in the 16th century and Protestantism became a thing just like in our timeline, and also Orthodox Christianity.  We also get material on Judaism (including important rituals), Islam (including explanations of the five pillars, predestination, Muslim prayer beads and relics, the Quran, and the different Muslim sects including Sufis).  The information here is a very good primer, in my opinion.  All religions have equal worth in terms of being able to perform a "test of faith", which is a saving-throw against mental coercion, seduction, or other forms of attack from supernatural creatures, and to be able to hold creatures of darkness (like Vampires and Demons) at bay.  Atheists will always fail these tests, but believers will have a difficulty set depending on just how devout they are, regardless of faith.  However, Atheists aren't totally doomed because characters can instead do a Test of Will, which is based on the character's END score, rather than belief, and gets bonuses if the character has martial training, has points in the Focus skill, or has practiced meditation.  So the only people truly screwed in this game are weak-willed atheists (like the ones who stop believing in god out of peer-pressure).

This section also has rules on possession by spirits and religious relics and artifacts.

After this we get to the "Adventure generator", which is a set of random tables that can be used to set up the adventure.  They start with a rumor table, then a location table (with places like "The Duchy of Acre", "Principality of Caesarea", "County of Maras", "County of Tripoli"; and with a more specific sub-table for cities:  Damascus, Edessa, Antioch, Karak Moab, the Caliphate of Baghdad, etc.).  Then there's a table to see what's behind the rumor (examples could be a sorcerer, internal traitors, a group of monsters, the Pope, etc.); and finally a random table for the "reward" (how many points the association stands to gain if they resolve the problem), and a list of "sweeteners" (bonuses that might be up for grabs).  By itself, the whole thing is super threadbare as an "adventure generator"; it is more accurately termed an "Adventure-Seed Generator".
Then we get several pages about bounties, which are possible goals to be achieved by the party for rewards, with a list of possible bounties. These are things like defeating monsters, finding/obtaining trade routes, capturing/killing a foreign agent, kidnapping/defeating the Pope or Caliph, or a league of sorcerers.

Next we get the rules for NPCs, with some quick-roll options I've seen in other Bowley books (these include mission, personality, and lifestyle); there are also some quick-stats for "mooks and bravos".  There's also some "Stereotype" traits for NPCs from a particular area; apparently people from Antioch are Arrogant, Argumentative, Hot-Tempered, and Prickly.

The Magic system is based on "Magic" points. These points, however, are used to keep track of how many magical effects can be maintained at one time; when an effect is stopped, the magic point returns to the caster. The actual 'cost' of spells are to attributes, which are recovered after resting. Magi and Minstrels use magic points differently; with Magi using up magic points when they call on the Archangels that are the source of their power, with points returning on the next session.  Minstrels likewise use up magic points, but their attributes aren't spent, instead the performance of their music powers the spell-casting.
There are a set of "Laws of correspondence" to magic:  the best way to cast a spell is to directly touch the subject/object of your spell, if not, to have a part of the object/subject. Third-best is to touch something once touched by the subject/object.  Fourth-best is to have the full true name of the subject/object; and the weakest hail-Mary pass of spell-casting is to make a pun on the object of the spell.  Yes, a pun.

We also get a list of spells for Esotericists (divided into very common, common and rare).

Next we have task resolution and as usual there are several... wait, what?  Could it be that in Outremer there's only one task-resolution system presented?!  That would be perfectly and utterly normal in almost any other RPG, but for some reason Bowley's games tend to have three or four different ways to resolve dice-rolling, so having only one seems a strange deviation!
In any case, the system he uses in this book is "starpool", which is one of the systems he's presented in other games.  It involves rolling a pool of D20 dice (generally equal to your skill rank + 1 die), where successes are counted for each die that gets equal or less than the attribute that governs the skill in question.  So if you have "Firearms" at 4, you'd roll 5d20, and if your Coordination (the attribute governing firearms) was 9, every die that got 9 or less would count as a success. Characters with no skill in what they're attempting just roll 1 die.  You can add to your pool of dice by acting at a later initiative, or lose dice from your pool in order to act earlier.  Characters with very high skill bonuses get multiple attempts at success (or in combat, multiple attacks per round).  Damage is taken to constitution, which is based on a formula derived from various attributes.  As you take damage, there are effects that cause increasing penalties to actions. Armor reduces your chance of success at hitting an opponent.
The number of successes x10 give the base damage, which is then modified according to weapon.

After this we get into a lengthy description of metaphysical cosmology in "the Spirit World", where we learn about the nature of the soul, how to cross to the spirit world (or how spirits cross into the material world), how movemetn and "Spirit constitution" work, and then a description of "spirit creatures". Some examples: salamanders, hags, Succubi/Incubi, Aramzahd Fire Demons, Slyphs and Nymphs, ghosts (of various sorts), devils (also of various sorts), homonculi, lycanthropes, skeptics (normal humans whose total disbelief of the supernatural is so strong that it affects everything magical), wizards, golems, griffins, Djinn (who get seven pages or so, way more than any other type of creature), and various others.

The section on weapons has three whole pages of weapon tables with stats, pretty much everything you could want for the period. There are nine pages of equipment and expenses tables, so likewise quite exhaustive.  We get a page of advice explaining why it would be important to spend money on fancier clothing, servants, and living quarters (for status, basically).

The rest of the book, the last 75 pages or so, are taken up by the setting material.  You get an overview of the peoples of Outremer, and details (with maps) of the major areas, each taking up two or three pages: there's the Duchy of Acre, Emirate of Aleppo, Principality of Antioch, Emirate of Aqaba, Kingdom of Armenia, Order State of Ascalon, Kingdom of Cyprus, Emirate of Damascus, Principality of Edessa, Emirate of Noms, the mixed state of the Kingdom of Jerusalem/Emirate of El Kuds, Principality of Rhodes, and County of Tripoli.
Each area is given description and then details of the inhabitant's ancestry, languages, religions, edges, relations with other areas, cultural traits, political traits, and physical conditions.
Besides this there's information on the sizes of cities, the economics of Outremer, and languages.  There's also a section on the military orders: the Templars, Hospitalers, Teutonic Knights, Knights of St.Lazarus, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, Knights of St. Thomas of Acre, Knights of St.John, and Knights of St. Wenceslaus, each getting about a page.

The last few pages contain guides to game mastering; explaining a bit about how to handle (pseudo-)historical games, and different play styles. There's a few optional rules (including rules for troupe play), a detailed map of Outremer circa 1560 in the pseudo-history, and then some useful lists at the end: tables of names (for different cultures: Armenian, Frankish, Jewish, Arab, etc.), details on local cuisine, and explanations of Muslim titles.

So... what is Outremer good for? Well, its an alternate history game. A strange one, because it takes a particular point in time, changes it, but then doesn't hang around at that point nor does it jump to the present.  Instead, it ends up in an arbitrary mid-way point.  And there's magic.
I don't have a problem with either of those things, but I wonder just how appealing it will be overall.  I think that a lot of people might dig the idea of roleplaying in a fantasy version of the Crusader States, but is there much of a point of the whole alt-history part of that, and jumping forward in the alternate timeline to the 16th century?
I don't know.  In any case, the attention to alt-historical detail is pretty well done. People wanting a earth-history based game, or looking for something on the realistic end of fantasy, will likely be well served by this game. And if you're a history buff, you can always fuck with the timeline, or just play it all strictly historical, with relatively little hassle.


Currently Smoking: Moretti Rhodesian + Gawith's Squadron Leader

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Traveller Campaign Update: The Prime Directive Can Kiss My Gallifreyan Ass

In today's adventure, the PCs are still reliving the ancient past; or I should say the "Ancient's Past" as they learn about the gradual rise (and, we presume shortly, the fall) of the Ancient civilization through a temporal-psychic projection created by Grandfather Paradox.

Their past-life selves were sent to supervise a world they had colonized 5000 years earlier, which was carefully terraformed and its primitive human migrants genetically-engineered, apparently all so the Empire could create more artists.  Yes, they're that stupidly powerful and secure, that they can fuck with an entire species and terraform an entire planet so they can meet their quota of painters in about ten millennia.

The PCs decided to handle their mission by infiltrating and manipulating the various primitive (medieval) societies of this planet.

So one of them basically invented these guys:

(Ironically, his 'art project' was probably the most successful of the bunch)

Another semi-accidentally created these guys:

(he ended up accidentally destroying the kingdom he had been assigned)

Another was apparently trying to invent this guy:

(but failed miserably)

Another guy just said "screw it" and decided to cut out the middleman by literally becoming this guy:

(he ended up doing quite well in terms of inventing the Renaissance, but got 14 dagger wounds in the back for his trouble, at the hands of jealous rival artists)

Finally, the last guy got his whole project interrupted by an ancient Droyne Cyborg that was controlling the weirdo culture of Shaolin monks.

After about a decade of trying to manipulate an entire planet's societies with variable results, the PCs suddenly found themselves under attack, by what would turn out to be a fleet of the Traveller equivalent of these guys:

They did the obvious choice, abandoning their assignment and the world they'd been nurturing for a decade.  They did manage to get some semi-valuable intel to the high council, at least.

The high council, in turn, decided to send them this guy to take command of the fleet and be in charge of destroying this new alien menace:

(they were sort of expecting to be saved by the other guy, but that's not how this Traveller campaign rolls!)

As it turns out they would have been able to pull it off even without the help of the "Master", as they got some spectacular strategy rolls in the epic space battle that ensued.    So they saved Art-world and all was well... for now.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Beverwyck

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The RPGPundit's Random Fantasy Drinks Table

This should technically be a sort of classic rant, since it was something I had posted to my blog, about 10 years ago in fact.  But that archive seems to have been lost to history, so instead I'm posting it anew.

Here is my once-famous table of random alcoholic beverages with silly names:

New Alcoholic Beverages
In addition to Ale and Wine, the average tavern or store is likely to have some particular “strong beverage” of house or local make; these specially crafted liquors have unusual names and often pack a very particular punch. Their cost will vary from 4sp-20gp per bottle depending on the strength and fame of the beverage.

Random Drink Names Table

(roll a D6; on a 1-2 roll on table A, 3-4 on Table B, 5-6 on Table C; you can roll again for each name element, or roll all the name elements from the same table)

Table A
Element 1                 Element 2            Element 3            Element 4
1. Captain/admiral -       Bernard  -        Golden   -                Ale
2. Doctor   -                 Clara  -               Prancing  -          Piss-up
3. Bishop/archdeacon  -  Partridge  -       Menacing -        Concoction
4. Count/duke   -           Bellows    -        Total        -          Recipe
5. Prince    -                  Abelard    -        Shocking    -       Cocktail
6. Seargent     -            Chunder       -      Bellicose       -     Formula

Table B
Element 1        Element 2        Element 3          Element 4
1. Friar/father   -  Anselm     -     blue/green*    -    Mixture
2. Uncle    -       Pete/Jeb   -       Questionable    -  Spirit
3. Master   -      Roland    -       Outrageous    -      Cleanser
4. Lord   -        Melchard    -     Excellent    -        Paint-thinner
5. Madame  -     McPlop    -     Saucy    -            Industrial Blender
6. Crazy/mad    - Kasimir    -    Bowelbashing    -   Orgy
*substitute any other colour of your choice

Table C
 Element 1            Element 2       Element 3        Element 4
1. Professor   -       Edmund    -     Brutish    -          Liquid
2. Rabbi    -            Loretta    -      Bitter   -             Boozerama
3. Aunt    -             Percy    -         Erotic    -            Broth
4. Wee/Big    -        Doncaster    -  Elderberry*   -    Selection
5. Ugly   -              Wu    -             (un)reliable    -     Incendiary
6. Three-fingered  -  Gerald   -        Delightful    -       Skullsmasher
*or substitute any other flavour/ingredient (orange/liver/milk/gunpowder/honey/etc)

So with this table you can generate amusingly named alcoholic drinks such as “Father Abelard’s Total Pissup”, “Three-fingered Anselm’s Golden Recipe”, “Rabbi Roland’s Menacing Liquid”, or “Master Edmund’s Outrageous Selection”. 

Obviously, saving throws against getting totally hammered are typically called for.

This table, and many other tables of truly impressive variety and wildly disparate levels of seriousness, can be found in the "Forward... to Adventure! Gamemasters Notebook!" (or "FtA!GN!"), which was one of my earliest RPG products.  A lot of the material there could be usable in any number of old-school or fantasy RPGs.


Currently Drinking:  Madame Partridge's Questionable Incendiary

Friday, 3 July 2015

10th Anniversary Classic Rant: Pictures Say a Thousand Words


Currently Smoking: Italian Redbark + Image Latakia

(originally posted June 29, 2007)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

You can buy Dark Albion: The Rose War RIGHT NOW!

Yes, it is out!

For the moment, we only have the book available in hardcover from Lulu, in its main and variant cover.

(main cover)

The two books are the same other than the covers.  You'll be able to get the book in softcover in about a week or two, from RPGnow, where the PDF will also be available.

(variant cover)

But really, why wait??  Go pick it up today! This 275 page hardcover book, complete for campaigning, can be yours for under $30!

Now praise me, and throw money at me!


Currently Smoking:  Brigham Anniversary Pipe + Image Latakia

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

DCC Campaign Update: Birth of Queen Dread

This week's adventure began in the wreckage of Highbay after the devastating Derpy-Kaiju attack of last session.  Leandra, the leader of the Azure Wizards, died in the battle, and the PCs had the sense that it might be time to find new pastures instead of the Azure Tower, unsure if whoever is chosen as her successor would be as friendly to them.   The plan emerged to try to figure out a way to stick around Highbay and stake some of the new territory created by the kilometer-long Petrification spell.  A plot was hatched to possibly build and run some kind of "Adventurer's Guild".

In the events that followed, the PCs:

-learned that pretty well everyone in Highbay sells drugs.  The old woman who sells eggs, the blacksmith, even the city guard all tried to sell them 'special brownies'.  The leatherworker sells LSD on the side.

-found that Chief City Officer Swanlee is willing to grant them some land, if they go rescue Bolt-O from the Orc Chief Omnblarg.

-agreed, even though Sandy the Bikini-Chainmail Barbarian felt that Bolt-O sounds like "one of those wuss robots".

(he just wants a nice conversation!)

-quickly found their initial "adventurer's guild" plans spiralling into a nascent plot to become key players in Highbay's criminal underworld.

-started to suspect that staying too long in Highbay might actually be a really bad idea.

-realized that, in a town where all drugs and prostitution are completely legal, local crime lords have to be really creative when it comes to finding stuff to illegally trade in.  Stuff like illicit smuggled War-Elephants.

-realized they'd actually stumbled into a turf war between two different bands of something called the "Bharata mafia", fighting over control of the Elephant-smuggling trade of Highbay.

-learned the aforementioned after Ack'Basha the Cleric made a very cool and true-to-type use of the Word of Command spell on a hapless fletcher, commanding him with the word "Confess!"

-proceeded to accidentally sell out said fletcher, after having given him assurances they would keep his secret, to yet another mafia, this one working for unknown bosses but led by a guy named "shady Ahmed".

-made a deal with Ahmed where they would work together to take over the city of Highbay. You know, for the sake of the children.

-got in over their heads quickly, while doing no more than healing up waiting to go rescue Bolt-O.  First, they accidentally cause a mob war; then they get the impractical and problematic gift of an illegal War Elephant, and then Highbay's enormous hippie community finds out that Ack'Basha the Cleric has a magic staff that makes you trip balls.

-wake up to a mob of a thousand dirty hippies at the entrance to their tavern, much to the chagrin of the highly eccentric innkeeper.

(oh god, it's these assholes again!)

-decide to harness the hippies to get free lumber for their building plans, charging a beam of wood as the price for a ticket to get to have a 'religious experience' with the Primo Staff.

-discover that their scheme has led to a crime-wave of hippie stick-ups and hippie break-ins all through the city, which gets them in serious trouble with Chief City Officer Swanlee.

-decide to take the hippies with them, as an army to oppose Omnblarg's orcish horde and liberate the town of Badbreath.  Of course, their army is nearly without weapons, food, sometime shirts or shoes, and entirely bereft of common sense, counting that with marching while signing "we shall overcome" they'll get what is 'meant to be'.

-watch as their Hippie Army starts to drop like flies en route, still days from the nearest orc, from desertion, starvation, boredom, distraction, getting lost and/or eaten in the forest, or the creation of drumming circles.

-struck an evil deal with the evil Lord Dread, selling out their hippies into serfdom in exchange for safe passage, and the possibility that Dread might join Ack'Basha the cleric's crusade against Sezrekhan.

-got a hint that being an Evil Overlord is not an easy job.

-got to hear Lord Dread tell Ack'Basha that "we're not so different, you and I..."

-arranged a potentially lucrative side-deal with Dread to sell him War-elephants.

-posed as criminal War-Elephant salesmen to get inside Badbreath and win the trust of the Orcs.

-were feted with a feast of dog-meat, followed by the promise of brown-mutant sex-slaves.

-heroically left the sex-slaves unmolested, except for Sandy who made two of the male slaves make out with each other.

-find that their carefully crafted plan to sneakily rescue Bolt-O and assassinate the Orcish chief falls to pieces when they forget that Bolt-O is totally incapable of modulating the volume of his voice.

-find themselves in the unfortunate situation of facing off against 300+ orcs all at once.

-watch Sandy turn into a killing machine, yet again.

-cheered as Schul the Rogue gets to the War-elephant with the plan to set it loose against the Orcs.

-groan as it becomes obvious that Schul has no idea whatsoever how to actually get the Elephant to charge at the orcs.

-confront Chief Omnblarg and his champions.

-see Sandy outdo herself, as she enters a Battle Rage and does 50hp in one hit against the chief, blowing his head open like a watermelon.

-hear the sound of at least a hundred orcs shitting themselves simultaneously.

-witness Sandy becoming the new Chief, as by Orcish law "whoever kills the chief becomes the chief".

-think Sandy is clearly enjoying her new status a little too much.

-note that just after your former chief was brutally murdered by a lance-throw from a barbarian warrior-woman is a really stupid time for an orc sub-chief to talk about someone 'throwing like a girl'.

-make a sudden change of plans: now instead of handing Badbreath over to Lord Dread and his approaching cavalry, the new plan is to ambush Dread, murder him, and have Sandy take over the whole region.

-set up a fire trap for Dread's horsemen and then butcher Lord Dread; first with a well-placed backstab by Schul the Rogue, then by Sandy charging in with the War-Elephant and impaling Dread on an orcish longspear.

-observe that Sandy seems to have taken "Orcish Law" to heart, as she now declares herself to be not just the new Orc Chief but also the new "Lady Dread".

Most of Dread's horsemen got away, presumably to hunker down in Castle Dread.  The plan is now to march the Orcish army there and lay siege to the castle so Sandy can complete her transformation from Barbarian Warrior to Barbarian Queen.

(this is pretty much what every "castle dread" ever looks like. I found it on the first page of a google image search for 'castle dread')

Meanwhile the poor Highbay Hippies aren't going to get any breaks, as Sandy, drunk with power, makes it clear that she plans to carry through with Dread's original scheme of condemning them to a life of serfdom tilling the fields for her in Badbreath.


Currently Smoking: Italian Redbark + Image Latakia